How to Cope with Having a Slob for a Roommate in the College Dorm

Messy college roommate? Check out University Loft dorm room furnitureWhen you go to college and live on campus in a residence hall dorm room, you’ll probably have a roommate. For many students, this might be the first experience of sharing such a confined personal space. For others who have shared a bedroom with a sibling, it will still be a new type of interpersonal dynamic. At University Loft, we can set the stage for happy, healthy and productive dorm room and residence life with our solid wood student furniture, but ultimately it’s up to the roommates to get along. Here are a few tips for dealing with a roommate who’s a slob:

Whose problem is it? Ask yourself if your roommate is really a slob, or are you a “neat freak”? The truth could lie in the middle; and compromise and understanding will go a long way toward better dorm living.

Set a good example. Don’t expect your roommate to keep everything picked up if you don’t.

Respect boundaries. Part of your dorm room will be common space, but your sleeping area should be respected as off limits to your roommate’s clutter. If not, express your concerns.

Be constructive, not confrontational. Whenever you have the inevitable discussion about dorm room clutter, stay calm and on-message. Be constructive. Compromise. Offer reasonable solutions. Remember that if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Encourage time out of the dorm room. If your roommate spends too much time in the dorm room, this can add to his or her sense of “ownership” of the space and result in clutter. Encourage your roommate to get out more often. Do things together, even if it’s just going to the library to study.

Take advantage of the features of your University Loft dorm room furniture. Your ULoft student furniture is built to maximize space and help you stay clutter-free. You can stack your bunk beds to create space. You can also load up those University Loft desk and dresser drawers. They can take a heavy load and let you fully extend the drawers to reach what’s in the back.

By being constructive and helpful you will probably be surprised at the cooperation you get. If not, consider doing the extra dorm room housekeeping for a small fee or in exchange for homework assistance or some other barter arrangement. It could be a win-win after all!


The ULoft Blog Team

About University Loft Company and our solid wood modular residence life furniture:

Since 1984, when James Jannetides built a loft configuration for his own dorm room at Southern Illinois University, hundreds of thousands of college students have enjoyed better campus living thanks to University Loft furniture. Today, University Loft serves more than 1,200 colleges, universities and related student housing partners. As Jannetides’ says: “We are always learning, always innovating, and always improving … our environment, our products, and our service. We are University Loft Company.”

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